Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's Tough Being A Rural Hospital These Days...

From Planet Jackson Hole:

Insiders and longtime observers of St. John's Medical Center ­ such as SJMC Chief of Staff Dr. Robert "Buz" Bricca, 23-year veteran Jackson physician Dr. Brent Blue, and former Board of Trustee Jonathan Schechter ­ describe the hospital as something resembling Hamlet caught in a Catch-22. Hamlet, for those too busy to remember, had trouble figuring out what he wanted to be. Throughout much of Shakespeare's play, he wanders around saying noble things while remaining paralyzed by circumstance and inaction and constantly being upstaged by Fortinbras' easy success in accomplishing whatever he desires.

Medical excellence, charitable good works, and nobility of purpose aside, St. John's Medical Center, by virtue of operating in America's ritziest zip code, is obligated to decide what kind of hospital it wants to be, lest it remain upstaged by Idaho's and Utah's bigger more successful 'Fortinbras hospitals', a half day's ride away.

Does SJMC want to be a good rural hospital, or a regional referral hospital with an expanded menu of quality specialties?

That, for many, is the question.


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